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Dirtworks 50k - supplies for the day ?

davidren's picture

By davidren - Posted on 11 January 2010

I'm going to be doing the Dirtworks 50k for the first time this year with it being the first event I would have done.

Can anyone recommend what supplies to take for the ride e.g. how much in terms of food, gels, liquid etc ?

I know there is a feed station halfway but not sure how much more I'll need to take !

Rob's picture

The 50km is a funny course. There's a lot of road towards the end, but there are some sharp rocks up on the firetrail so be sure to take the usual tube (or 2), pump, etc.

As for food, it all depends on what you usually eat/drink and how long you plan on taking.

Say you plan on finishing in 3h30 or something. I'm guessing that because you say it's your first event, apologies if you plan on smashing it out in 2h30 Eye-wink Anyhow, think what you would normally eat and drink in that time when you ride at your usual pace.

At the 28km rest stop there will be plenty of water and depending on the organisers, some fruit. Lots of people would take some powdered sports drink in a zip-lock bag and re-fill a bottle at this point. Grab a piece of fruit, refill your hydration pack (again, lots of people put water alone in the backpack and sports drink in a bottle) and head off.

Although I've never done the 50, reports are the second half of the course is not very demanding at all so by the time you get to the 28km rest stop you've done most of the hard work.

To be honest I would plan on avoiding gels unless you need an instant 'boost' which you shouldn't need on the 50. Have learnt from experience they just give you a kick but it doesn't last long and too many can upset the stomach. Again though, that said, if you're on the road back, 10km from the end and feeling flat as a tack you could squeeze one down to get to the finish. I kindof treat gels a bit like an emergency stimulate these days Eye-wink

I guess the most important event advice is not to try anything new on the day. Figure out your nutrition on training rides and play with the options (different sports drinks, powders, bars, etc, etc) to find what tastes good and keeps you going.

Hope that helps. Good luck! Smiling

hawkeye's picture

I've found the powerbar gels available from Coles to be quite effective. I will use one on the ride home from work, especially if I've not eaten in the few hours before leaving. Easy on the stomach. The chocolate ones I seem reasonably palatable. I've not used their bars.

If you suffer cramps then Endura hydration drink powder is supposed to be very good. It has magnesium salts in it which are supposed to help with cramping, but it does take soem getting used to - go half strength for the first few uses to see how much you can tolerate.

Natural is better though. There's an interesting thread running at the moment on ACF: - Although it's mostly roadie-centric, the ideas will be the same.

BT's picture

I did my first Dirtworks 50K on nothing but a hangover and some Gatorade. Smiling

In all seriousness though, my first DW 50K was my first solo race. I’d previously only done two team races.

I had a Powerbar, a couple of bananas, a protein shake and a Red Bull before the race. During the race, I went past the food stop as I was feeling good. I stupidly packed a few gels in my backpack instead of my jersey pocket...As I was feeling so good I didn’t want to stop to get them out of my backpack so I didn’t use any of them...ended up relying on the Gatorade only during the race.

I completed the 50 in 2hrs 20mins so it worked for me!

Justin's picture

I've been enjoying the Cadel bars - they are more 'natural' than those powerbars.

But - depending on how hard you are going, depends on how much to eat. If you are pushing your heart rate above 165, then you will need to eat every 45m-60m to maintain that energy level. Don't underestimate your water consumption at that level of effort either - i'll lose 2 litres of water an hour at that pace.

Plan '1' thing to eat every hour, take enough for worst case and you will be fine.

Little-Ditty's picture

1. Ensure you remain hydrated. Most important rule. If you feel thirsty, you have already gone past the point where your body needed that drink.
2. See rule 1, and have another drink.
3. As they say above, natural is best. Bananas, fruit, muesli bars, are all nice hits of energy.
4. If your body tolerates it, take maybe 4 Gu's and have one every 10 km. Essentially would make a nice energy top up for you.
5. See rule 1.
6. If you plan on riding 50km in 3 hours, you will need at least 3L of water. For me, I am a heavy sweater, so would go through 3L in 25km and would need a complete refill at the mid-way water station.
7. As an aside, the 50km Dirtworks course (if it is anything like what I did 2 years ago) contains something like 10km road, 10km dirt road, and 20km fire break. With the exception of the last large rocky downhill chute before you get onto the last 8km road hike at the end, there is basically no need for off road tyres. If you have crossmarks, or smoother, go with those in the race.

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